Universidad ARCIS: Síntoma de la crisis generalizada del sistema de educación superior privada

“Un país que destruye la escuela pública no lo hace nunca por dinero, porque falten recursos o porque su costo sea excesivo. Un país que desmonta la Educación, las Artes, las Culturas, lo hace porque ya está gobernado por aquellos que solo tienen algo que perder con la difusión del saber” (Ítalo Calvino, 1974)

Hace un par de años atrás, la prensa se copaba con la noticia de la quiebra de la Universidad del Mar, en múltiples reportajes se podía observar la magnitud del impacto que esta situación causaba a trabajadores/as, académicos/as y estudiantes; se develaba el oscuro manejo del grupo económico que había operado la institución y se elevaban voces de todos los sectores políticos condenando a quienes se identificó como culpables. El Estado judicializó el caso y generó, cabe decir, pobres y engorrosas medidas de apoyo a los/as estudiantes estafados/as. Al cabo de unos meses, y cuando aún miles de sus trabajadores/as y estudiantes no lograban ver materializadas las miles de promesas realizadas para compensar en algo lo vivido, esa gran tragedia dejó de ser noticia.

Hoy, y ya durante todo el transcurso del año 2014, hemos visto en algunos medios, notas y reportajes relacionados con la Universidad ARCIS: sabemos que sus trabajadores/as han estado hasta dos meses sin el pago de sus sueldos, que a sus docentes aún no se les cancelan todos los honorarios correspondientes al primer semestre, que sus proveedores comienzan a abandonarlos (en casi todas las escuelas no hay siquiera tóner para sacar fotocopias), que hay fuertes sospechas -ver reportaje de CIPER- de lucro y retiros cuantiosos de dinero por quienes hasta hace muy poco figuraban legalmente como dueños de la universidad (PC). Sin embargo, lo que no hemos visto, es a ese Estado “regulador”, “garante”, “fiscalizador”, alzar la voz o mostrar algún grado de preocupación por la situación, a estas alturas dramática, que vive su comunidad.

No obstante, uno se podría preguntar, ¿por qué el Estado tendría que hacerse parte de esta situación? La respuesta nos acerca verdaderamente al foco del problema: el Estado debe hacerse parte, porque efectivamente lo que hoy sucede con la UARCIS es solo un síntoma de la crisis generalizada que atraviesa el sistema de educación superior privada. Sistema que se sostiene en un marco regulatorio -heredado de la dictadura- que entiende la educación como un bien transable en el mercado, un marco regulatorio que permite que grupos de control (sociedades, fundaciones, particulares, corporaciones) operen con la educación como si fuera cualquier tipo de mercancía, generando “mecanismos” que les permitan el lucro y el despojo; o bien, los somete a los devenires del juego de la oferta y demanda que, muchas veces, obligan a precarizar su actividad académica (hemos visto como importantes universidades cierran carreras, imparten clases en capillas o mantienen a sus académicos en un régimen de inestabilidad laboral sostenida).

Resulta evidente, entonces, que no se puede dar continuidad a este modelo y es indispensable que, en el caso de ARCIS, el Estado se haga cargo de la crisis, concretando su tan difundida voluntad de producir un cambio de paradigma; esto es, que se transite hacia alguna forma de propiedad social en la que el propio Estado tenga una relación orgánica con la propiedad de la institución, cautelando el proyecto académico y la participación comunitaria.

No representa una salida, ni responsable, ni seria, mantener como única vía de sustentabilidad la continuidad del modelo de autofinanciamiento, basado sólo en la matrícula o en una supuesta alternativa de diversificación de ingresos mediante el aumento en la venta de servicios. Insistir en el mercado como fórmula de salvación -en un contexto de crisis general- que impactará indudablemente proyectos académicos, es una postura absolutamente temeraria y que no recoge la necesidad de cambios que la sociedad exige y que el propio gobierno dice haber comprometido.

Hoy solo depende del Estado que no se vuelva a repetir lo de la Universidad del Mar, lo que sucedió a esa institución y lo que hoy sucede en UARCIS, tiene una matriz común. Quizá, la gran diferencia entre estas dos experiencias es que la comunidad “arciana” se ha articulado triestamentalmente, se han distanciado del grupo de control que hoy incluso les ha dejado de herencia una nueva Rectora -es público que sus consejos de escuelas, incluyendo a Directores y Jefes de carrera, mayoritariamente han deslegitimado su nombramiento. Pero, lo que resulta más valorable es que es su comunidad ha mantenido viva la institución este año, han iniciado un proceso de democratización profundo, están reconstruyendo su proyecto, se están movilizando e interpelando al Estado y al mundo social, político y académico a hacerse responsables y defender un proyecto que tiene un inmenso valor para el país, porque es un proyecto que apunta al mejoramiento de nuestra sociedad, mediante la construcción de saberes críticos, tan ausentes de la mayoría de los proyectos académicos que sobreviven con una “relativa” holgura e nuestro malogrado sistema educativo.

Este martes 23 de septiembre, se realizará una marcha desde la sede Libertad #53, metro ULA. Para más información pincha el enlace: Marcha por Arcis.

por Profesores/as autoconvocados, ARCIS.

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